Huangshan (the Yellow Mountains) City borders on Zhejiang and Jiangxi Provinces. It has under its jurisdiction three districts (Tunxi, Huangshan and Huizhou) and four counties (Shexian,Yixian, Xiuning and Qimen), which cover much of the area used to be known as Huizhou. The Yellow Mountains also reach some areas in Taiping and other nearby counties. The scenery of the Yellow Mountains unfolds as they extend. Flowing in front of the Mountains is the blue Xin'an River. On the back of the mountain lies the placid Taiping Lake. At the eastern end of the Mountains is situated the Qingliang Peak Natural Reservation. The Guniujiang Natural Reservation is located at the western end of the Mountains. On both sides of the southern slopes are the quiet and secluded Yixian County and Shexian County known for their historic and cultural heritage- Further ahead, right to the south is the river town of Tunxi District, which is the seat of the Huangshan Municipal Government. To the southwest lies Qiyun Mountain which is known as Baiyue, in Chinese: White Mountain. These picturesque scenic areas are crisscrossed by winding brooks and dotted with aged houses, streets, bridges, stone archways, pagodas, clan halls. The region is also easily accessible by air, railways. Huangshan is renowned as the national park of nature and a Museum of history- The following are sketches of the scenic spots-Houses of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (16th---19th centuries) in Yixian County. As it is hidden in the mountains, Yixian County is known as a land of peach blossoms, meaning a haven of peace in Chinese literature. On entering the county, one can hardly see any houses along the stream between the green hills. However, going through the hill passes, An open basin comes into sight where over 3,000 well-preserved pre-20th century houses are shaded on the slopes of the green hills, which are acclaimed by tourists and scholars as the most beautiful villages in the world and a treasure house of the traditional Chinese house style.
Xidi Village and Hongcun Village attract particular attention for the clustered houses. The topography of Xidi Village is well planned. 122 houses, in black, white and gray colors, were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Each has white walls, with elaborated-shaped eaves and courtyards. The entrance gates and windows display typical features of local wood, brick and stone carving. Of particular interest is a glided balcony overreaching into the lane at Dafudi, the name of a clan hall, It was said that anyone fortunate enough to catch the colorful ball thrown by the young lady from the balcony could win her love. Crystal-clear water in the ditches connecting every household provide endless stream to the housewife for daily use. Standing tall at the village entrance is the Hu Wenguang Stone Archway, a single-structured and four storied building that is composed of three parts and supported by four pillars, the archway was a masterpiece of the Ming Dynasty architecture, testifying to the past prosperity of the village's history.
Not far from Xidi Village is Hongcun Village which is also famed for its pre-20th Century buildings. What is unique about the village is that it is ox-shaped topography. The high ground is like the ox head, the ancient trees at the entrance are like ox horns and bridges like ox hoofs. The houses form the trunk and the river is like an ox tail. The 1,000 meter long zigzagging ditch is compared to ox intestines, and the Moon-shaped pond, Nanhu Lake, take the shape of ox stomach. Thanks to the endless supply of water, flowers and fruits are grown in abundance in every courtyard, with water corridors winding through them. Fish is also raised in the pond. In addition, the pre-20th Century houses in Xi Wu, clan halls also enjoy a great reputation. The historical and cultural renown town---Shexian County, Shexian County was set up back in the Qin Dynasty over 2,000 years ago, which was the seat of the local government in the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. In those days it was also popularly known as Huizhou. Throughout history, it is the political, economic and cultural center of the southern mountain region of Anhui Province. The growth of local commerce reached its peak during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and the town became famous nation-wide for its wetitleh. Because of its rich historical and cultural heritage as well as the numerous scenic spots, the Chinese Government designated Shexian County as one of the cities and towns of historical and cultural renown in China.
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